Fremantle skipper Nat Fyfe has urged his teammates to work on their skills during the off-season in order to avoid another year in the doldrums.
The Dockers have missed the AFL finals for the past four years, and Fyfe is running out of time to taste the ultimate success.
Injuries to the club’s key big man stocks crippled the team this year, with the Dockers losing eight of their last 10 games to crash out of the finals race.
The return of Jesse Hogan, Matt Taberner, Alex Pearce, and Rory Lobb to full fitness next year will boost Fremantle’s cause.
But the club’s hierarchy acknowledges a higher emphasis also needs to be placed on skills following years of mediocrity.
Fyfe said it was up to the individual as much as the club to focus on skills.
“It’s not like we’re part-time footballers,” Fyfe said.
“Anyone who has the opportunity to improve in some areas should be taking advantage of that.
“The off-season is a period where I’ll go away and work on my skills, and I would hope that all of our players on our list would be looking at ways to improve ourselves as well.”
Fremantle are on the lookout for a new coach and chief executive after their dramatic sacking of Ross Lyon and Steve Rosich.
Collingwood assistant Justin Longmuir is the early frontrunner to be appointed Fremantle’s next coach, but the likes of Peter Sumich, Brad Scott and Michael Voss are also in the mix.
Fyfe is optimistic success will come to the Dockers, but he’s just not sure when.
“Twenty-four hours after finishing season 2019 and not having a CEO or senior coach, it’s pretty hard to predict when I think we’ll be winning a grand final,” Fyfe said.
“Optimistically I’ll say next year, but without all of the cards on the table, it’s hard even to have an estimate.
“I think we’re a better footy team than we were 12 months ago. It’s undeniable.
“If we can get our key people on field for longer periods of time, we’ll take a step forward again next year, regardless of who’s driving the bus at senior coach level.”